March 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — His name is Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, and he hails from Pope Francis’ homeland of Argentina. He was ordained in 1968 as a priest in the diocese of Rome, then as a bishop in 2001. He has an anti-capitalist worldview and is opposed to traditional doctrine. He is the chancellor of two Vatican dicasteries: the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
High level sources in the Vatican say he has a rather vicious streak, and we experienced it firsthand when our Rome correspondent interviewed Sorondo after a Feb. 27-March 1 conference on “Biological Extinction” that he hosted at the Vatican (Read about that exchange here). This conference caused great controversy since Sorondo had permitted the world’s most extreme population control advocates to speak.
Sorondo’s connection to population control elites is clear, not only from his bringing them to the Vatican but also their feting him and having him sit on the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an organization launched by then-U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. On the leadership council, alongside Sorondo, are Jeffrey Sachs and Ted Turner, two of the best-known promoters of coercive population control in the world. Turner held an event at the posh Harvard Club in New York City to celebrate Sorondo’s work on Sept. 25, 2015.
It was hardly surprising that the father of the population control movement, Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 book The Population Bomb, would revel in the Vatican pulpit provided him at the most recent conference held by Sorondo. In an email exchange with LifeSiteNews, Ehrlich said he was “thrilled” with the direction Pope Francis is taking the Catholic Church. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper days before the Vatican conference, he suggested that ridding the world of six billion people to bring the population down to one billion would have an “overall pro-life effect.”
At the “Biological Extinction” conference, John Bongaarts, vice president of the pro-abortion Population Council, spoke of the “unmet need for contraception and family planning,” claiming that reducing birth rates would help the environment. The “most relevant” part of his presentation on population and fertility trends, Bongaarts said, was about “responsible parenthood.”
Rather than confront him at the Vatican conference, Bishop Sorondo suggested that Catholics need to better understand the Church’s teaching on bearing children and that education would lead them away from large families to having two children, and no more.
Speaking in broken English, Sorondo said:
Many times, we don’t know exactly what is the doctrine of the Church – we know some part but not all the doctrine of the Church about the question of the fecundity … And the many, many priests say to me that the great solution for the question of procreation is the education of the womans. Because when you have education, we don’t have childrens. We don’t have seven children. Maybe we have one children, two children. No more. And this is also an obligation for the Church and after and in then I want to say that also in the catechismos of the Church say, ‘the state has a responsibility for its citizens' well-being. In this capacity, it is legitimate for the state to intervene to orient the demography of the population.’ This is also an idea of the Catholic Church.
Bongaarts was pleased with Sorondo’s intervention, calling it completely accurate on education, but added that what is needed was family planning or contraception in order for a woman to “implement her desires.”
RELATED: ON TAPE: Did this bishop just reveal the real reason he invites pro-abort extremists to the Vatican?
In the video of the exchange, Sorondo makes no mention of the Catholic Church's teaching that artificial contraception is “intrinsically evil.”
Steve Mosher, president of the pro-life Population Research Institute, criticized Sorondo’s discussion at the Vatican conference. “For anybody who is a bishop in the Catholic Church – God help us all – who doesn’t understand [that] the first commandment given [to] our first parents to be fruitful and multiply has never been rescinded and instead argues for people not to be generous in having children I think fails to understand why God created the Earth and human beings in the first place,” Mosher told LifeSiteNews. “Silence implies assent … for him to hear contraceptives praised and promoted and not immediately contradict that position by stating what the position of the Church is makes him complicit in the misinformation that follows.”
Bishop Sorondo, however, seems impervious to criticism. Over the last few years, he has led Vatican conferences showcasing population control and abortion extremists, and when criticized, he has falsely claimed he is open to all voices. Yet, major Catholic leaders, even on issues of population such as Mosher himself, were not invited to the conference.
Having invited former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and population controller Jeffrey Sachs to his Pontifical Academy of Science conference in 2015, Sorondo responded to critics saying, “The United Nations is not the devil. Rather, quite the opposite.” When he held a meeting for mayors that only included leftists, he told a journalist who questioned his choices: “The invitation is open to everyone … All of your friends from the right … we would welcome everyone.”
As he did with his warped vision of Church teaching cited above regarding the need for Catholics to have fewer children, Sorondo has also claimed that Catholics must accept other teachings he deems to be required for Catholics.
At a Dec. 3, 2015 Acton Institute conference in Rome, Sorondo stressed that the pope’s declarations on the gravity of global warming, as expressed in the encyclical Laudato si’, are a magisterial teaching equivalent to the teaching that abortion is sinful.
Sorondo spoke of “global warming” saying that in Laudato si’, “for the first time in the Magisterium,” Pope Francis “denounces the scientifically identifiable causes of this evil, declaring that: ‘a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases released mainly as a result of human activity.’” He repeated the point later, saying, “Faith and reason, philosophical knowledge and scientific knowledge, are brought together for the first time in the pontifical Magisterium in Laudato Si'.”
Comparing the Pope’s teaching on global warming to the Church’s teaching on abortion, Bishop Sorondo said the “judgment must be considered Magisterium – it is not an opinion.”
“It is under Ordinary Magisterium,” he explained, “that abortion is a grievous sin – this is Ordinary Magisterium because there is not the revelation of it.” So there is an assumption of “moral doctrine,” he continued, that even though the majority opinion is contrary, we accept that “abortion is a grievous sin” is Magisterium.
“When the Pope has assumed this, it is Magisterium of the Church whether you like it or not – it is the Magisterium of the Church just as abortion is a grievous sin – equal (it is the same) … it is Magisterium of the Church … whether you like it or not.”
Despite what Bishop Sorondo may think, the Church has laid out certain non-negotiable principles that Catholics are obliged to follow if they wish to consider themselves Catholics. The teachings on abortion and euthanasia hold a pride of place over and above the contested theory of global warming.
As then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote, prior to being elected Pope, “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia:”
For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.